Sarcasm aside, mock drafts give the fans a foundation off of which they can kind of understand how the draft will unfold. Having Al Davis around as an owner a few years ago made it especially difficult to know who the Raiders would pick, but for the most part, teams had specific needs which they would try to address as quickly as possible. Rounds 1 and 2 are filled with players whom the team sees as big contributors from day one. Rounds 3 and 4 consisted of guys the team sees as guys who need to develop for a season or two before they can make an impact, while round 5,6 and 7 are mostly practice squad players or those who will fizzle out soon enough.
Of course there are exceptions. Remember when we thought JaMarcus Russell would be a franchise quarterback (Like I said before, Al Davis.)? Good times. But there are also surprises in the late rounds. Have you heard of a guy named Tom Brady? Before the media beat the story into the ground years ago, Mr. Brady was selected in the sixth round and went on to win 3* Super Bowls early in his career. The point is that although we expect the guys picked early to have better careers than the guys picked later, which most of them do, there are always guys who stray from the norm and surprise us all.
The Philadelphia Eagles walked away with seven new players this weekend, and while we hope that all will become contributors from day one, the odds are stacked against that. As much as we'd like to believe that we know how these players will pan out, we really won't know for sure for a couple of years at least. What we can do now is make a few wildly inaccurate predictions about how the Eagles' newest draftees will do.
Round 1, 26th overall: Marcus Smith, DE Louisville
The Eagles went into the draft with three major needs: a pass rusher, a wide receiver, and some help in the secondary, with pass rushing being their most glaring need. While a controversial pick, given where Smith stood on most draft boards, the former Cardinal end can come in and provide some much needed quarterback pressure right away. He has everything you want from a pass rushing prospect; big hands, quick feet, a hard work ethic, and he also had 12.5 sacks last season. Smith should get a lot of playing time this season and will need to be ready to take over for Trent Cole in his sophomore season.
Round 2, 42nd overall: Jordan Matthews, WR Vanderbilt
The Eagles need somebody who can instantly replace Desean Jackson's production. Look no further than Matthews. With 112 receptions and 1477 yards last season at Vanderbilt, Jordan Matthews was an absolute steal in the second round. I fully expect him to be great from day one.
Round 3, 86th overall: Josh Huff, WR Oregon
One of Chip Kelly's boys, Josh Huff was a good third round selection. In addition to Matthews, Huff can give Foles another reliable target and can become a vital piece in a couple of years after he develops.
Round 4, 101st overall: Jaylen Watkins, CB Florida
After addressing their other big needs in the first three rounds, the Eagles went and drafted a defensive back in the fourth round. While he's an average player, Watkins is very durable, something which could become very important towards the end of the season. While I don't expect much production this season, he can improve and be ready contribute next season.
Round 5, 141st overall: Taylor Hart, DE Oregon
Another one of Chip's buddies from Oregon, Hart is a solid run stopper on the outside and also provides a good pass rushing threat for the defense.
Round 5, 162nd overall: Ed Reynolds, S Stanford
The Eagles had another hole in the secondary at the safety position and, while I don't think Reynolds is the answer right away, he can develop into something special down the road.
Round 7, 224th overall: Beau Allen, DT Wisconsin
Allen is a good body to have inside as a run stuffer, and can provide a bit of relief for Logan should he fatigue during the season.
There you have it. Seven picks, seven future superstars. Okay, that's unlikely to happen, but the Eagles did a very good job at not only addressing their needs, but loading up on talent as well.
By: Dan Goggin
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